10 years ago (2003): The District of Invermere council joined a growing chorus of discontented voices opposing a piece of provincial legislature called Bill 75. The Significant Projects Streamlining Act, as it was called, was seen as giving the provincial government the power to override municipal power, by authorizing any minister to assume the powers of a duly elected council or board, and substitute his/her decision for those of local councils or board developed with local input.
15 years ago (1998): Elk Park Ranch was in the proposal stages. Schickedanz Bros. Ltd. had revealed their proposed development for the former Kirk’s Christmas tree farm land that would see 445 townhouse units sprout up on the 280 acres north of Radium Hot Springs. Approximately 150 people attended an open house, at which they were told the project would not be built without public support.
20 years ago (1993): A provincial court judge in Golden was scheduled to decide who would win the fourth District of Invermere council seat. Still tied at 270 each, even after a November 23rd ballot recount, councillor candidates Janice Hamilton and Mark Shmigelsky were left to wait another week to learn the final outcome of the November 20th municipal election. Mr. Shmigelsky went on to win the position by one vote, following the judge’s recount.
25 years ago (1988): Valley residents were protesting train whistles. One Invermere resident, a local lawyer by the name of Randy McRoberts wanted the District of Invermere council to adopt an anti-whistling bylaw, arguing the whistles could be replaced by wig wams (the flashing signs at a railroad crossing). “In Cranbrook, there are seven train crossings with nothing but wig wams. They’ve had an anti-whistling bylaw since 1981.”
30 years ago (1983): Windermere District teachers ratified an agreement with the School Board for the following year. In the six-point negotiation agreement, teachers were not given salary increases but worked out an exemption from a controversial Bill 3 regarding seniority lay-offs and early retirement. Among other matters agreed to were a severance pay schedule, holding elementary preparation time to one hour per week and professional development to $135 per full time equivalents.
35 years ago (1978): A new book store called The Cat & The Owl opened its doors in Invermere. Located next to the Credit Union Building, it was owned and operated by former Banff residents Carole Orr and Richard Pow. Ms. Orr had worked for four years at the Book and Art Den in Banff prior to opening the new business in Invermere.
40 years ago (1973): BC Hydro was asking valley residents to curtail their use of Christmas lights. “While we don’t anticipate any problems meeting electric power loads this winter, Hydro management feels that everyone must be more conscious of the need for efficient use of energy,” said BC Hydro Columbia Valley district manager Rod Martin. His advise was to turn on lights after 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and leave them on for three hours instead of six.
50 years ago (1963): A former Windermere girl received recognition of her writing ability in an award by the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Alma Gray Paxton (Mickey), or Mrs. Keroack as she was also known (after marrying and raising three children) won her award for best column written by a woman writer last year. The story appeared in the Edmonton Journal, to which she was a frequent contributor.